There’s always been an unofficial gentlemen’s agreement between the mainstream German automakers to limit the top speed of their cars to 155 mph (250 kmh), even the high-performance models from Mercedes-AMG and BMW’s M division as well as Audi’s potent RS range (many of these cars have a factory option to remove the limiter, though).

The agreement was made back in 1988 with the launch of BMW’s V-12-powered 750i, which was limited to 155 mph even though it could theoretically pass that point. However, the new Audi R8 will change all that.

The 420-horsepower 4.2-liter V-8 in the R8 will propel the car to a top speed of 187 mph (301 kmh) in line with competition with its main rival, Porsche’s 911, which can reach up to 192 mph (310 kmh) in some guises.

Audi has commented that it would be “impossible” to sell a car like the R8 with a speed limiter, but so far there seems to be no problem. Buyers in the U.K. have been flocking to the R8 in droves, where the allotted 400 cars have already been pre-ordered. Deliveries won’t start until spring next year, but there’s already a 50-person waiting list. The R8 is Audi’s halo car, and we’re positive the German automaker will easily move the estimated production of 5,000 units per year.


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